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Harry Potter 7 Pt. II

Posted: Fri, 15th Jul 2011, 9:26am

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Atom

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Was a masterpiece. A true, genuine, grand masterpiece.

Best film of the year by leagues, too. At least thus far.

More to come soon.
Posted: Fri, 15th Jul 2011, 3:10pm

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Aculag

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I'm glad they seem to have pulled out all the stops for the final chapter. Everything I've heard so far has been overwhelmingly positive. Deathly Hallows Pt 1 was incredible, and I haven't read the second half of the book, so I expect to be blown away. Might go this weekend if I get the time.
Posted: Fri, 15th Jul 2011, 7:13pm

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Azulon'sAssassin

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Yeah, I got the game, which is pretty awesome, and movies are palmist always better than games. But I'm gonna wait till it calms down to go see it.
Posted: Fri, 15th Jul 2011, 8:59pm

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Atom

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I totally agree, Aculag- and when my dwindling interest in HP was reinvigorated with the viewing of the sixth film two years ago, I too made a conscious effort to stay away from the seventh book, spoilers for it, and generally figuring out 'how it all ends'- and I think I thoroughly enjoyed the film and series more because of it.

I won't speak spoilers in this post, so no worries- but I do want to say, one lengthy sequence acted by Alan Rickman particularly was just absolutely breathtaking. Beautiful. Artful, technical precision- thought-out storytelling, masterful editing. If nothing else, this sequence makes the whole series worthwhile. It all comes, very truly, full-circle.

And that's really the brilliance to this film. It ties it all off in a satisfying, important-feeling conclusion, never regretting, forgiving, or forgetting any of its previous installments.

The movie is, without a doubt, carried by Daniel Radcliffe in his best form this time through especially, but the supporting actors are just so wrenching and magnificent in their roles- it's hard to express the breadth and magnitude of talent in this movie.

Here's what I wrote on the Atomic Productions' page: (Don't worry, again, it's completely spoiler free)

Atomic Productions Fan Page wrote:

It is with heavy hearts and the achey tinge of nostalgia that we leave the theater of the final Harry Potter film, but also with a deep respect and applause at the marvelous masterpiece that it is.

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a remarkably well-made, emotionally-resonant film, and succeeds with grace and grandeur in fulfilling all expectations out there.

But more than that, we applaud and acknowledge, as filmmakers ourselves, what Warner Brothers and all the franchise creators have done with this series- and that is be unflinchingly driven for quality over quickness, and doing what is RIGHT for a series rather than what is fasts, easy, and played-into with timeliness or fads.

Harry Potter is a testament to patience and a grand and astounding illustration of care, talent, extreme dedication in the creation and continuation of grand, blockbuster storytelling. We grew up the same age as Harry when these films began, and in many ways, they have grown with us.

And that's a feat even the most compelling or wrenching films created cannot claim. It's telling of a series, not without it's own hiccups- but with the sense to try and consistently be stronger, better, and more-resonant in its storytelling and overall thesis. There is no more-finely created film franchise as a whole, and certainly not one made with the steadfastness, persistence, and consistency of this decade-long phenomenon.

And make no mistake, it is precisely that. As this series comes to a close, the final film reminds us what a spectacular phenomenon we have been presented with. And we have all been given this gift to learn from. Long-form storytelling that is genuine and true, and rooted- however magical it may become- in humanity.

THIS IS WHAT A FILM FRANCHISE SHOULD BE.

And I sit here, writing for my own group, with tearful eyes drawn to the beauty that has been brought to us all for ten years, and the inspiration we have constantly reaped from it.

Well done, guys. Really.
Posted: Sat, 16th Jul 2011, 5:12pm

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2xZProductions

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Saw this last night. Beautifully captured and very unique. I couldn't help but nitpick, having read the books and certain things I'd wished they'd included, but it was good nonetheless. The visuals were top notch and the scene Atom was referring to was just brilliant. Am going again some time soon, to see if I missed anything and to see that amazing film another time! Go see if you haven't already!


-2xZ
Posted: Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 1:52pm

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Pooky

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I liked it, it wasn't a bad movie and it had some great moments and some amazing special effects. That being said, there were quite a lot of hugely awkward moments (enough to get the whole audience to crack up laughing when it was supposed to be dramatic), and the changes they made from the book were in many cases not only unnecessary, but far inferior narratively.

Also, am I the only one that hated the acting from the main three? It felt cheesy and forced, especially all the romance scenes (dear god what an awful kiss). I mean hell, Luna had more chemistry with Harry than Ginny did.
Posted: Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 4:25pm

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Staff Only

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Rating: +1

Atom wrote:

Was a masterpiece. A true, genuine, grand masterpiece.

Best film of the year by leagues, too. At least thus far.

More to come soon.
That’s even more surprising to me than the professional critic’s reviews! We must have seen a different film. Here’s what I wrote after seeing it at the midnight premiere:


After seeing the film, no one was more surprised than me to see the reviews.

This film has a lot going for it. Great acting, 7 films of build up (kind of), and great visual effects. But David Yates has never missed the right chords more than in this film. That was my main problem with this film. It was a giant letdown, because nothing had any weight to it what-so-ever.

Sirius SPOILERS!




.....



.....


Now most of these scenes have a lot of built in weight from the books and the previous films, but to those of you who saw the film; did you not notice that Yates didn't build up to anything, and that hardly any important moments had the correct timing? The whole film was a series of "stuff happens" (which isn't new in a Harry Potter film, but normally the critics complain).

Gringotts - There was no build-up, they strolled in there, Griphook did nothing, apparently all you need is to Imperius one goblin. The scene was quickly over and no one made any mention that they just BROKE INTO GRINGOTTS. Now I don't really care that stuff has to be cut, but this is the first in a series of "big deals", that Yates decided to downplay like it was nothing. I could easily forgive that in this instance.

But it dosen't stop there. Yates continued on to downplay everything. The only moments that were slow and felt big and significant was when they put the shield up around the castle, and also when Voldemort tore it down. From a filmmaking perspective it happened slowly, and we saw a lot of characters reacting to it happening, which gave it weight.

Harry show's up at the Room of Requirement - Whether using Hedwig's Theme worked here or not can be discussed (I kind of liked it), but I also credit this as a moment where Yates got it right. He made a big deal out of something big happening instead of his usual "David 'Tone it down' Yates" routine. I was hopeful at this point.

Fred dies - Off screen. Does it even need saying? Why weren't Fred and George fighting side-by-side in a scene, then have a heart-wrenching moment right before Fred gets killed when both of them realize, for a split second, that they're never going to see each other again? Why not have the other characters there the moment it happened? People in the theater would have gasped out loud and started sobbing right there (as they should), instead they barely reacted to how Mr. Tone-it-down did it. The grieving scene was good, but it was nothing compared to what Fred's death warranted.

Molly/Bellatrix fight - Again, this fight had a giant audience of characters in the book and a big build-up. Ginny should have been fighting Bellatrix for a bit before Molly showed up. She should have been about to lose the fight when Molly shows up yelling in rage and fear: "NOT MY DAUGHTER YOU BI*CH!". Instead Bellatrix threw one spell at Ginny and Molly delivered the line in the most forced way possible. It sounded more like a statement than that she had actually lost a child less than an hour ago. She then killed Bellatrix EASILY, and then smiled..?! (Because being forced to kill someone in self-defense is...fun?) What?! Did Yates understand what happened in that scene at all? Why did he tone that down as well?! This is the LAST installment of HARRY POTTER! Stop toning things down!

Harry is dead - Ginny is apparently the only one who cares about that? I can understand if Yates wanted to go for "complete shock", but then you have to actually GO FOR IT. Don't let the whole scene seem underwhelming. Show us the characters deflating at the news. Make the silence deafening!

Harry is alive - Everyone was so relived they just charged the Death Eaters while yelling like maniacs like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmTz7EAYLrs&feature=player_detailpage#t=277s right? And the score goes insane? RIGHT?! No. Like everything else in this film; It. Just. Happens. Even in How to Train Your Dragon did they added more depth, sadness and bravado to the “He’s dead, no he’s not” and that film was rated PG and not THE DEATH OF HARRY POTTER.

Voldemort dies - cheering, crying, sobbing, hugging, shock...? No? Tone it down? Well why the hell not. It's only the last Harry Potter-film. No biggie.

And that is not even to mention the fact that The Prince’s Tale was axed in such a way that several casual viewers were left thinking Snape was Harry’s father. They didn’t even try to explain to the viewers how Harry survived getting killed by Voldemort, and they completely neglected the significance of the Deathly Hallows which is only the title of the movie. It should have been called “Harry Potter and the Raiders of the Lost Elder Wand”. There was also no “fitting poetic conclusion” to anything at the end. Harry just snapped the wand in half without comment, and then they jumped 19 years into the future and did almost nothing with that scene. The scenes would have had virtually the same running time if they just used the lines JKR came up with in the book, or better lines that made the same point, but no. Here’s what Harry says in the book when leaving the Elder Wand behind (not snapping it like some idiot), the last paragraph before they jump 19 years into the future (important part bolded):

“Are you sure?” said Ron. There was the faintest trace of longing in his voice as he looked at the Elder Wand.
“I think Harry’s right,” said Hermione quietly.
That wand’s more trouble than it’s worth,” said Harry. “And quite honestly,” he turned away from the painted portraits, thinking now only of the four poster bed lying waiting for him in Gryffindor Tower, and wondering whether Kreacher might bring him a sandwich there, “I’ve had enough trouble to last me a lifetime.”

*Cut to 19 years later*
Now that is a fitting poetic narrative ending for 17 year old Potter. How the filmmakers missed that is beyond me. Again in the epilogue Harry says some random line taken almost out of the book: “The sorting hat takes your input into consideration. Okey let’s go” to Albus Severus. Here’s what he said in the book (important part bolded):

“But just say-“
“ – then Slytherin house will have gained an excellent student, won’t it? It dosen’t matter to us [=Harry and Ginny], Al. But if it matters to you, you’ll be able to choose Gryffindor over Slytherin. The Sorting hat takes your choice into account.”
“Really?”
”It did for me.”
I just don’t get how Yates managed to include that entire exchange in the film, and mess up the reason it was there in the first place. It’s like he has absolutely no sense of narrative. I know those lines might seem like nitpicks, but they are just examples of Yates messed up. It dosen't matter if you have to cut some stuff if it makes the film great, but Yates didn't cut sub-plots or scenes, he just had them in there while cutting all the emotional and narrative content. o.O

Did the professional critics not notice this? Was the build up that much smaller for people who didn't read the books? Did book fans just fill in the gaps themselves? What happened? Peter Jackson, when making Return of the King, knew what he was doing. He knew which size of epiccness was warranted. If you look at the extras he was always making things "bigger" (to the point where the crew thought he was making the film over-the-top), "more epic" and "more insanely difficult for the crew" even though the deadline was coming at them at light-speed. Yates on other hand "Was terrified at what Watson did in the torture scene and asked her to 'tone it down'". Seriously watch The Girl in the Café (directed by Yates). I do not lie; it is the most toned down film I had ever seen. It's not bad, just super-SUPER calm. Why is this guy directing the last Harry Potter film?

I just had to vent. I can't believe I saw the same film as the critics. I mean directors like J. J. Abrams, Christopher Nolan, Peter Jackson, Michael Bay and James Cameron spend entire films trying to earn the right to have insane epic moments in the third acts of their films. Yates was handed all the build-up and the moments themselves on a silver-freaking-platter, and he toned them all down. It's utterly perplexing.

What the hell happened?

PS: Just want to toss in here that I thought how he filmed Snape getting killed was one of the strongest things in the film. That was quite powerful. Credit where credit is due. On the other hand I forgot to add Goyle's death to another moment that just happened, with no build up or pay off. Felt completely random in the context of the film. The reason for that in the book was to show Malfoy as a human, but Malfoy didn’t get one line to voice how sad he was to see his best friend get incinerated. Why even have his death in there in the first place?

And yes Pooky, people laughed when they weren't supposed to. At the midnight premiere. I've seen LotR so many times with so many different people and audiences and NEVER in the 12 hours of film have I ever seen anyone laugh at unintentional humor. That was also disappointing about this. And if the Harry/Ginny kiss was bad, the biggest, most anticipated kiss in all of Harry Potter was the one between Ron and Hermione. I didn't mind that they had to change the context of the kiss completley, and I thought the acting was great, but why was Yates filming the back of Ron's head? I mean the sheer amount of directorial bloopers in this film is unlike anything I've ever seen on a film this size. And the reviewers all liked it! Boggles my mind.

5/10. 6/10 if I'm being generous. The fact that Kung Fu Panda 2 (solid 10/10 from me) had way more weight and emotional content than Harry Potter 8 is really funny to me.
Posted: Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 4:45pm

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Azulon'sAssassin

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SPOILERS!!!!!!!

@ Staff Only: About the Bellatrix thing, it wasn't like she shot a jinx or something at Ginny. She shot the KILLING CURSE. So, the mom stepped in, Bellatrix thought it would be an easy win, so she let her guard down. And I might smile too, if I had just gotten rid of Lord Voldemort's right hand person, who also just shot a killing curse at my daughter.

I also found that the reason no one was chearing for the death of Voldemort is that so many died and so many were hurt.

Harry is dead: Everyone is in shock, then they're all to scared to do anything. But, you know, it's only the most evil man that ever lived and kills for fun. Why not charge at him? I'm sure he'd greet you with open arms like he did Draco.

So, really, I thought everything was perfect at the perfect moments in the movie. I can't see why anyone wouldn't like this movie. (unless they don't like HP in which case, I think they're nuts!) So I agree with Atom. It was absolutely PERFECT for me. It followed the book almost word for word.

Perhaps you were tired at midnight, so you just found it less enjoyable? I know I would have, if I was up it midnight with a bunch of people dressed as Harry Potter!
Posted: Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 4:52pm

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Staff Only

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Azulon'sAssassin wrote:

SPOILERS!!!!!!!

@ Staff Only:
YEAH SPOILERS




I didn't think anything in the film was "unrealistic" in the sense that you need to explain to me why it might work. I just thought none of those things made for great or even good cinema. We should have had a Return of the King. JKR gave him the opportunity to make something like that (though the book also suffered from ending abruptly the narrative at the very least worked in the book). And this:

Azulon'sAssassin wrote:

It followed the book almost word for word.
Pretty much discredits your entire post.

Even if you disagree with my entire post there is no denying that not explaining how Harry survived is outright bad storytelling. So was Sirius Mirror, Tonks' baby (seriously, they're gonna drop that bomb on the audience as one of the last lines in the film? wtf?! the extremely slight hinting at the baby in Part 1 dosen't count) and so much else. It really does amaze me that the reviews are so good. Part of me thinks that no reviewer wants to be remembered as the "idiot who didn't like the Oscar-winning Harry Potter-finale". After Return of the King they're playing it safe? Who knows.

Last edited Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 6:39pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 6:28pm

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Azulon'sAssassin

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Well, I do agree with the baby thing, but I thought that Harry's survival was explained pretty well. (Unless you're talking about when Voldemort killed him in the forest. Then I guess they could have explained that ALOT better.) But, to each his own, I guess.
Posted: Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 6:39pm

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Staff Only

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SPOILER


..


..


Azulon'sAssassin wrote:

Unless you're talking about when Voldemort killed him in the forest. Then I guess they could have explained that ALOT better.)
When else would I be talking about?
Posted: Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 7:17pm

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jawajohnny

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My super-long, epic review is coming later. But first I've just got to address Staff Only. razz

Staff Only: I'm a hardcore fanboy myself, but you're fanboy-ish-ness is really starting to piss me off. I really don't think you understand the difference between BOOKS and MOVIES. You seem to think that David Yates and Steve Kloves' job is to literally copy the book, word-for-word, image-to-image. It's not. It doesn't take you two hours to read a Harry Potter book. They're 700+ pages. You can take however long you want to read them. Whereas the movies have to be kept at a reasonable length (around 2.5 hours is about average for the series). There is no possible way to fit everything from the books into the movie. Duh.

The movies need to present the story much differently, without all the fun-to-read, but ultimately unnecessary, subplots and secondary characters. This isn't paraphrasing, streamlining, or omitting. Because for anyone who hasn't read the books... they're not missing anything. You really, really, need to take this into account. Forget that you read the books. I didn't reread any of the books before the movies... and I guarantee I liked the movies better for it. When I was little, I had the same attitude, complaining about things that were changed, or left out of the movies. But now looking back, none of these things had to be there. The same story was told, completely. Perfectly, in fact. They didn't leave anything out. Do you forget the fact that J.K. Rowling read and enthusiastically approved every single script in the frachise? Or that she herself was a producer on this final film? If she approves... then I'm pretty sure the filmmakers have done their job. Just compare her reactions to the movies to poor Christopher Paolini's reaction to the Eragon movie. When asked what he thought, all he said was "Ed Speelers and Jeremy Irons are great in the lead roles." You can essentially translate it into "The movie sucks, but I should say something nice for the camera".

Just to reinforce my point here... I'll address some of your specific complaints:

Fred dies - Off. screen. Would it have been great if he had died on-screen? Of course. But by placing him, with the other dead bodies, it adds even more of an emotional punch to the "I didn't want any of you to die for me" theme. To enter the great hall, and see all his friends lying dead around you... and then to have your best friend and his family (which is really Harry's family too) crying over Fred's body, is just gut-wrenching. It really makes his choice to sacrifice himself all the more easy.

Molly/Bellatrix fight Again, nothing wrong here. The focus of the movie... is on Harry. Not Bellatrix, or Molly. We don't need a prolonged duel. Bellatrix shoots a killing curse at Ginny, and Mrs. Weasley gets pissed. She shoots curse after curse at Bellatrix, who reacts with appropriate fear as she is forced back. And come on... who wouldn't smile if they had just blown up Bellatrix Lestrange, aka the most evil witch on the planet?

Harry is dead - Literally everyone I've talked to has said that this is exactly the way they pictured this seen happening in the book. Exactly. There is a sad silence. Voldemort's taunting is appropriately haunting. His "awkward hug" with Draco Malfoy shows just how non-human he is. You can't play up this moment too much, either, because we all know already that Harry is alive. It wouldn't work.

Harry is alive - This isn't Lord of the Rings. It's geared to be much more family-friendly, for lack of a better word. No one standing in the courtyard is a "fighter". They aren't part of any army. They're not even in the middle of a battle at this point. The battle for all intents and purposes was over. There was no way out. Then when Harry makes his move, they all act appropriately surprised. It takes awhile for everyone to understand what has happened. They're not all going to mindlessly charge Voldemort and his Death Eaters. If they did that, they'd be wiped out. It's not mindless orcs... it's Voldemort - the most deadly wizard in the world.

Voldemort dies - All I've got to say here is that the silence lets the victory sink in. Again, cheering would be to jovial. Not to mention, after Voldy's death, there was still a fight going on in the Great Hall. We wouldn't cut to that, because it would overshadow Voldy's death. Instead, we time-jump to a ways after the battle is over. We see everyone recovering in the aftermath. With the piles of dead bodies lying around, it's a much more somber affair. I'll compare it to the end of Half-Blood Prince. The purists were disappointed they left out Dumbledore's funeral... but the ending with the trio just standing on the astronomy tower is much more poignant. Dumbledore's funeral, with the crowd of people, is just scale for the sake of scale. Put the three main characters at the focus, where they should be.

The Prince's Tale - This was the best moment in the entire movie. Insanely directed, edited, acted, and scored. Honestly, the entire point of it is all there. And dare I say it... Yates was able to improve upon it. Seeing Snape slowly approach the Potters' house, and completely lose it when he sees Lily's dead body, is just absolutely amazing. It really sells Snape's character right there. Combined with the clips from previous movies, the entire thing just works. I don't think anyone would think he's Harry's father. He looks just like his real father. Snape loved Lily... and hated that she married James Potter. Harry looks just like his father (and therefore is easy to hate)... but he has his mother's eyes. And by the way, those were much better final words for him than "Look at me". For people who didn't read the book... they'd have no idea of the significance.

No one laughed at my screening. It wasn't at midnight, either, which I specifically avoided because there are always the jerks who go to it just to be there and make fun of the fans, and by extension, the movie. I went to a 4:00 in the afternoon showing... and for the first time in my entire life... the entire theater broke down into tears during The Prince's Tale. Every. Single. Person. I'm not exaggerating... it was unbelievable. And again, for the first time in my life... the entire audience stood up and applauded at the end. They all loved the movie. And you know what? Most of the audience was purists. Do you know why? Because they all gasped with anger when the movie faded to black and held for a beat before the epilogue. Then when the "19 Years Later" came up... the theater collectively cheered.

So yeah, my point is that the job of the movies is to convey the core story, the characters, and most importantly, the themes that J.K. Rowling presents. They all did that, with only the slightest misstep ( a few bits of Goblet of Fire).

If you want every word and image copied verbatim... then go read the books again. The movies aren't meant to be replications. They have to stand on their own. And judging from the universal approval from the audience and the critics, they do. smile

That's all for now. My proper review is coming soon. razz
Posted: Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 8:12pm

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Atom

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Staff Only, if you think the final scene with our trio of leads needs any more words pr actions thsn the subtle reassurances of support they glance to each other before they all embrace holding hands and looking resolutely into the distance- a shot and action that echoes back to the chess scene in the first book/film, I really do think you're missing the point.

Filmmaking is a visual medium- if something can go without saying, why not take it there? There's no need to be outright, that can come across as contrived in movies. Trite.

That's why I absolutely love the Harry/Hermione dance in Part 1. Absolutely one of the my favorite scenes in any film, by virtue of the fact that it takes what would likely be shoehorned-in expository dialogue -"I've always thought of Hermione as like my sister"- and instead explains the nature of this platonic, deep relationship in very well-directed, well-acted silence of dancing.

And the fact that they have a sibling-like connection is very well realized and illustrated in the scene, getting the thesis of what Rowling wanted in their relationship, even though it omits exact phrases and creates the scene entirely on it's own.

This is what movies are. And more importantly, it's what the Harry Potter films are. They aren't direct adaptations, and they aremt bastardizations of the source material- they're two complementary franchises of masterful entertainment.

Also: YOU'VE GOT TO BE JOKING ABOUT THE PRINCE'S TALE! It's literally one of the most well-orchestrated, well-directed, comes-full-circle-and-gave-me-chills sequences I've ever seen in a movie- and definitely the most profound/impacting considering the ten year timeline and montage of clips from each film.
Posted: Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 8:51pm

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Staff Only

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jawajohnny wrote:

Staff Only: I'm a hardcore fanboy myself, but you're fanboy-ish-ness is really starting to piss me off. I really don't think you understand the difference between BOOKS and MOVIES. You seem to think that David Yates and Steve Kloves' job is to literally copy the book, word-for-word, image-to-image. It's not.
I don't think so at all. Peter Jackson did anything but with Lord of the Rings. He cut so much more than has ever been cut from HP. The difference is that The Lord of the Rings movies are some of the best films in history, and Deathly Hallows part 2 is one long reason why David "Tone it down" Yates has no business directing big movies of any kind. On Lord of the Rings they chose the sub-plots they wanted to follow and stuck with them. They planned all the movies from the start and it shows. Had they made HP they would have developed Sirius' and Harry's relationship in GoF so his death mattered. They would have kept Sirius Mirror. Notice in my post I did not ask where "this and this" scene was. In fact I recommended they cut Goyle's death and Tonks' baby altogether. All I care about is that the moments are BIGGER, BADDER, Peter Jacksoner (and that the narrative is flawless)! Or at least that they build on stuff established in the film. More reaction-shots, more bombastic music, make a giant point out of stuff happening for pete's sake, like directors who actually know how to make a grand finale. There were no griefers in my screening. They were not making fun of the film. The laughs almost seemed involuntary. Voldemort's death is not a poignant moment. It's the biggest moment in a 10 year long film epic. It should be on par with the destruction of Mordor and The Emperor's death or at least aspire to be. That's “Grand finale 101”. It needs to be grand and satisfying.

That's my problem with this film. I don't care that stuff was cut. I care that I didn't care once. I've lived and breathed Harry Potter since 1998 and not once could this film make me care about stuff I already cared about. So much great acting, but Yates has been in over his head since Order. Probably a good choice for Part 1, but all the “big moments” in this were small. And though a lot of reviewers liked this, I've seen people comment “That's it?”. That shouldn't even have been a possibility. When you make a finale like this the concern should be that people will say: “This was too much. This was self-indulgent.” THAT'S where you need to be. On that line. Not on the line of “This is underwhelming.” Doing to that to the last Harry Potter is downright irresponsible. Look at the Death of Gandalf. Loud slow-motion yelling, super-dramatic music, sobbing, crying, more sobbing; THAT's how you do it. Look at Boromir's death. He get's shot to ground three times before he dies. How unrealistic and over-the-top can you get? It's amazing! Those are my favorite death-scenes in any medium. Peter Jackson has been criticized for self-indulgence and not being able to keep a responsible runtime. Great!

Can you see what I mean? That's what I can't take about this film. Where were those moments in this film? Where did Yates go against his very being and risk being melodramatic and over-the-top? Never! His style is so tame and wimpy I find it almost offensive.

jawajohnny wrote:

Forget that you read the books. I didn't reread any of the books before the movies... and I guarantee I liked the movies better for it.
Neither did I. I left the books at the door when I saw these films and I'm only judging these films on their own merits. My quotes from the book were only to show the difference between plain nothing, and having a satisfying narrative. And believe me, I know people in real life who thought The Prince’s Tale meant Snape was Harry's father. I didn't even notice that myself. And there are several threads on IMDb. Also none of the changes and complaints I had would have made the film much longer.

Going through my points and justifying the first two of them with that “this works from a story perspective”, and the third with “people thought this was accurate from the book” is silly. The third justification is downright hypocritical considering the rest of your post, but none of them address my complaint at all. As I said I wasn't looking to see “Harry's story” or “jawajohnny's friends pictured this from the book”. I wanted amazing cinema. People standing around staring blankly when they hear the Chosen One is dead can be as realistic as it wants, but it still does not make for great cinema (see Gandalf's Death etc.)

Finally the part about: “This is about the trio where the focus should be!”. No. This film has more than earned the right to have a prolonged duel scene with Bellatrix dying at the end if it wants. Now I didn't need the actual dueling to be any longer personally, but I needed (as with everything else in this film) for the moment to be bigger. I hope you better understand my complain now. And having 400 CGI Death Eaters doesn't make a film epic. Crowning moments of awesome are made by build-up and pay-off, not CGI. That's the reason seeing a million clones fighting a million droids in Attack of the Clones is boring as hell, but the Charge of the Rohirrim I linked to earlier can bring a tear to your eye. Also Death Eaters are not elite soldiers of doom. This is a “mistake” in the books. If slackers Ron and Harry can fight a bunch of Death Eaters that reinforces the backstory JKR gave them as if the were Voldemort's soft-headed groupies and several of them were cowards. That's all fine and good, but it would have been more epic if they were all seduced, hand-picked and trained by Voldemort to be the most deadly force in the Potter-verse. She would have had to re-write Voldemort and made him more reliant of “friends”, and that might not have been worth it, but personally I think it would have more epic if whenever just one Death Eater showed up the entire Dumbledore's Army would be very outmatched. And then adjust Voldemort's and Dumbledore's powers accordingly (making them basically gods). But all that's beside the point.

Hope that clears it up. I understand now that the critics don't think Harry Potter warrants as over-the-top “film-moments” as Return of the King did, but I do. I really do.

Atom wrote:

And the fact that they have a sibling-like connection is very well realized and illustrated in the scene, getting the thesis of what Rowling wanted in their relationship, even though it omits exact phrases and creates the scene entirely on it's own.
Yes, I was completely on board with the dance. smile To me it worked just as well as Rowling's solution and I get that the scene was needed.

Atom wrote:

Also: YOU'VE GOT TO BE JOKING ABOUT THE PRINCE'S TALE! It's literally one of the most well-orchestrated, well-directed, comes-full-circle-and-gave-me-chills sequences I've ever seen in a movie- and definitely the most profound/impacting considering the ten year timeline and montage of clips from each film.
All the stuff that was good about that sequence was taken from the mind of JKR, and personally the only thing I didn't like about it was that they didn't revisit that James was a giant jerk. Only because it would have a really bold filmmaking move considering it would ruin James' appearance from the stone. wink I didn't notice the “Snape was his dad”. They should have noticed is all I'm saying. Otherwise yeah. One of the best scenes in the film.
Posted: Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 10:36pm

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Serpent

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I can see where you're coming from, and agreed with some of your earlier points on some scenes that could have worked better. I don't think it was perfect. But I absolutely loved the film as much, if not more-so, than part 1 (which was my favorite). To say David Yates has no business directing films is absolutely ridiculous. I quite literally didn't think Hollywood was capable of pulling off the latter part of the 7th book (the climax/3rd act of the second film). The scene where Harry and Voldemort's form were joined in death couldn't have been done better. When 1 was coming out, I was convinced there would be musical scenes, in which Harry expressed his inner feelings by singing. I feel they did the series as right as we could expect, and it's a wonderful film series. I am very satisfied, but that's just me.

Maybe it wasn't your favorite, but I hope you aren't missing out on something because you we're busy sitting in the theater, analyzing it. Maybe meditate beforehand? Let the film take you for a ride? I feel like you were writing that post in the theater, but maybe I'm just too satisfied.


My biggest complaint was the pacing in the edit and screenplay. In the previous one it worked, but in this one it just felt way too back-and-forth between real serious, and lightheartedness/funny. And it gave some scenes less impact, or they came on expected. Didn't help that I knew what was going to happen. But I felt that the key parts of the climax were wonderfully executed. Yates knows how to direct a film.

Last edited Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 11:19pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 11:16pm

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Staff Only

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Serpent wrote:

Maybe it wasn't your favorite, but I hope you aren't missing out on something because you we're busy sitting in the theater, analyzing it. Maybe meditate beforehand? Let the film take you for a ride? I feel like you were writing that post in the theater, but maybe I'm just too satisfied.
Don't let that worry you! I'm not one of those fans who think an adaptation can "ruin" the source material. The books are still as great. I was just amazed and a little angry with what Yates and his team got away with critically is all. When a film like Tron Legacy get's mixed reviews.

I'm currently listening to one of the audio commentaries on Fellowship of the Ring and it boggles my mind how many amazing scenes they cut from the film to make sure the film worked completley for people who didn't know a word of the books. Yates definitely did not do that (as explained with stuff like the locket, Sirius' Mirror, Tonks' baby, how Harry survived etc.) and all these critics who most of have not read the books are just eating it up. I can only think that most of them have learned long ago that "only kids understand how this stuff works, just go with it." It's the only explanation. Tron gets bashed for not explaining how the Grid works which has absolutely nothing to do with the films narrative, and Potter gets away with whatever the hell it likes and none of them say a thing. Because in the end none of this:

Atom wrote:

For anyone like myself, my age, I think Harry Potter should resonate more off-the-bat- given we grew up the same age as the actors, issues, and the tone of the films matured as I did. I found this extremely personal and special, and for this reason- I see the genius in the HP franchise. These are characters and people, even as actors, I am deeply invested in. They are my friends, and those I grew from childhood with, in a way.
Has anything to do with great filmmaking. That's pure bias, and I refuse to give the films any goodwill whatsoever for it. The rant was because I'm angry everyone else does. To me you can compare Kung Fu Panda 2 with Deathly Hallows if you want, because of how irrelevant the circumstances around a film really are when it comes to my enjoyment. As I've said here the only thing I enjoy in films is observing impressive work/craftsmanship. Seeing Luna Lovegood come to life on film gives me nothing. The film has to be good. I was left with the impression that Deathly Hallows Part 2 was average. Great acting, visual effects, stunt work, cinematography, but sorely lacking in the grand finale character moments it needed.

Last edited Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 11:19pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 11:16pm

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ben3308

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Alright, I'm just going to say it.

Lord of the Rings is a total, 100% fantasy. No elements from the real, modern world exist in the books at all. Harry Potter takes place in the real (late-1990's) world and so the adaptation to film is, by necessity, contextualized differently.

Also, the LoTR films are true-to-the-source and rich in immersion of the 'world', but they're also exceedingly dense, boring, and more nerd-bait than anything. It's fun to 'be a part of' that world when I watch the films, but I don't enjoy LoTR as I enjoy my favorite films or the best films ever made. Because they're not technically individual good 'films'. Not at all, in my opinion. They're more like 'books on screen'.
Posted: Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 11:26pm

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ben3308 wrote:

Alright, I'm just going to say it.

Lord of the Rings is a total, 100% fantasy. No elements from the real, modern world exist in the books at all. Harry Potter takes place in the real (late-1990's) world and so the adaptation to film is, by necessity, contextualized differently.

Also, the LoTR films are true-to-the-source and rich in immersion of the 'world', but they're also exceedingly dense, boring, and more nerd-bait than anything. It's fun to 'be a part of' that world when I watch the films, but I don't enjoy LoTR as I enjoy my favorite films or the best films ever made. Because they're not technically individual good 'films'. Not at all, in my opinion. They're more like 'books on screen'.
That's really cool observation. I've never thought about it like that before. Of course you won't be surprised that I haven't watched the theatrical versions more than in the theater all those years ago, and know the extended cuts (which by your definition are even worse) by heart. wink However I think they are some of the greatest accomplishments in film-history. And though Two Towers and Return of the King don't stand on their own, that is completley forgivable as the films flow like one long film (unlike Potter). And the 12-hour epic is brilliant!

Also interesting you should bring up Harry's timeline. Actually it takes place from 1991-1998. However the films never acknowledge this, and feature landmarks (skyscraper and bridge in Half Blood Prince) and cars from the 2000s since film 1. Ever since 2001 when I saw Uncle Vernon's Opel/Vauxhall Vectra I called "Did not do the research/laziness". Though the shot of everyone in Privet Drive owning the same car is my favorite visual gag in all the Potter movies. To be fair JKR messed up the timeline and featured a Playstation a year before it came out.
Posted: Sun, 17th Jul 2011, 11:59pm

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Serpent

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No worries indeed, if it doesn't do it for you, it doesn't do it for you. I have/had such similar gripes, but I accepted them by the time 'Chamber' was released, and I've grown to enjoy the films (for the most part) despite that. Setting your expectation bar low when it comes to Hollywood can work wonders. It's hard to tell if it's getting better or worse in Hollywood, maybe just bigger. But it's up to our generation to make it better.

Sucks to see a fellow fan disappointed.
Posted: Mon, 18th Jul 2011, 1:22am

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Evman

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Rating: +1

Speaking as a fan, let me just start off by saying that this film is way overrated critically. Period. It's good, but its not 97% on RT good. No one wants to step up and express their discontent. Which is fine. I totally understand it - and the series definitely deserves it, after all this time.

After watching the film I felt kind of empty and also kind of frustrated. I wasn't sure why. It might have been partly due to lack of sleep. Then I felt like it was because HP was officially over. But I wasn't frustrated about that really. All I kept thinking about were the lingering issues I had with the film from a storytelling a technical standpoint.

Most of it stems from the fact that with each film they kept dropping the ball on some key things that I was confident would be fixed by the end. Plot threads that were left underdeveloped I was sure would come back in a big way later. But they seemed to have gone in the opposite direction, focusing entirely on Harry, and paying everyone else little more than lip service... which would have worked had they not built these things up as if they would be resolved.

Also the fact that I don't think David Yates was the correct person to direct this movie in particular. He's great with character driven stuff (reason why DH part 1 and Order of the Phoenix were great), but for action, he just doesn't know what the hell he's doing. It seemed as if the entirety of the Battle of Hogwarts was condensed into that one 2 minute sequence where they're running to go to the dock to see Snape. The fact that the castle was getting torn down basically didn't resonate with me, or with Harry for that matter. This is his home.

The film was also littered with fan service for the sake of fan service - which not many of the other films indulged. Mrs. Weasley's "NOT MY DAUGHTER YOU BITCH" line, for example just doesn't work. In the book, that final fight took place all in the great hall, so this moment was peppered into a larger sequence, fitting naturally amongst the mini battles of all our characters, Harry included. In the movie, they made the bizarre choice to move Harry's fight with Voldemort out to the rest of the castle, along with a ridiculous extended sequence with Nagini that added nothing and made Ron and Hermione seem like complete idiots. So we then have to CUT BACK to Mrs. Weasley, interrupting the flow of action, for really no legitimate reason other than to let the fans see that moment.

Also, in moving the final confrontation out to the courtyard, we miss out on Harry openly taunting Voldemort in front of everyone, revealing him as Tom Riddle, and bringing him down with his words - immortalizing his place in wizard history with a kickass speech. Harry isn't an action hero - part of his heroism lies in his newfound maturity - confronting Voldemort like a human being (the one thing he hates being seen as), rather than a monster to conquer with magic.

Ron and Hermione do almost nothing - which is frustrating given how much they were featured in Part 1. They feel literally like an afterthought throughout most of the movie - with their big kiss being covered in a... medium shot... Hermione has a great moment with her farewell to Harry, immediately leaping to "I'll come with you!", before breaking into tears. But that's about it. Ron gets little more than a nod.

From an editing/pacing standpoint, the movie also felt incredibly rushed. I suspect this has something to do with doing 2 huge movies simultaneously (which is why I always hate when a production choses to do that).
Sloppy mistakes like Hagrid just randomly appearing in the forbidden forest scene, not being established at all beforehand, just took me out of the flow and tension of the scene. Humor moments are thrown in at the LEAST appropriate times - I think they even included one in the sequence leading up to finding out that Fred is dead. ADR fixes are thrown around like candy, most notably Dumbledore's over the shoulder add-on line explaining that the bloody fetus thing in kings cross was a piece of Voldemort's soul. I suspect this was the studio asking for clarification, but come on. In the book it is never mentioned explicitly that its the dying Horcrux that was in Harry, but we got it anyway. Especially in the film, the damn thing even LOOKS like Voldemort. We're not stupid.

Staff Only is correct that we are treated to almost no buildup to key moments, and he's outlined most of them so I won't bother repeating them. It's frustrating, because they have a brilliant movie sitting in their servers... They just need a proper, good editor, to go to town on it, with adequate time to complete it.

All that being said, I did find a lot to like in this final chapter. Alexandre Desplat's score is breathtaking - a true successor to John William's brilliant start. Lily's Theme is one of the most chilling and sad themes I've ever heard, and I loved that he was willing to incorporate new ideas and themes to the final piece that really brought the feeling of death home, while still managing to keep William's flair alive. The leaving hogwarts theme at the end was a masterstroke of nostalgia and very nearly brought a tear to my eye.

Dan Radcliffe delivers a slamdunk of a performance - he's truly grown as an actor and he's owned Harry completely. I'm almost afraid to reread the books because until now I've kept my personal version of Harry in my head. That might have to change. The Ressurection Stone scene was fantastic - despite Harry seemingly not noticing his father at all. Oh well. Radcliffe is awesome. As is Alan Rickman - that flashback is probably the best single piece of performance in the series.

The consolidation of the plot worked for me in most places. Truncating the lengthy bit of Harry sneaking around hogwarts into the single scene where he calls out Snape was great, as was the after the fact explanation of the confusing wand ownership lore that happens at the very end. This didn't work so well in the beginning, with Gringotts feeling like it really should have been in Part 1 or not in it at all, with how short they made it.

The epilogue I thought was surprisingly well, considering how forced it seemed in the book. They condensed it to just what it needed to be. The aging effect was convincing enough, especially with Radcliffe's great performance. I believed he was 36, even if he visually only looked like 90% of the way there.

It's just tough for me to remember most of the movie because it frankly wasn't as memorable as I'd hoped. I think I need to see it again, clearing my head, and knowing that these things are issues going in, so I can enjoy the good parts more. Also it didn't help that by the end someone was snoring in my theater during the final scene before the epilouge, and everyone was laughing. When the "19 years later" title came up, everyone groaned. This is why I hate theaters sometimes. Can completely take you out of a film.

Ok wow, that ended up being a lot if you read all that I'll be impressed. smile
Posted: Mon, 18th Jul 2011, 2:45am

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Aculag

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I never finished reading Book 7, so I don't have all the niggling complaints that many have. I thought it was fantastic. I do agree that it's probably not 97% RT good, but for the finale of a saga like Harry Potter, I thought it was pulled off without a hitch. It was exciting, emotional, heartbreaking, and provided a very good sense of closure. Probably not my favorite of the series, but it's up there.

It was a bit odd that so many major characters were killed off without a word, but like Neville said, "people die". The film wasn't about Fred or Tonks or Rebus, it's about Harry. Sure, it'd be nice to have had more than just a moment to say goodbye to those characters, but then it would have been a Return of the King ending, where it just goes on and on and on. Yates showed us what was necessary and pertinent to the story's conclusion. I will say I thought Voldemort's death was a little subdued. I fully expected Harry to just go rip his head off or something.

I suspect my review of the film would be much different had I finished reading the book, but as it stands, I thought it was brilliant, and an excellent way to end the series. I don't think it's Oscar worthy (although Radcliffe did give a fantastic performance, as well as Rickman), but it's definitely one of the best of the series. I definitely will need to see it again for it to really resonate with me one way or another. Right now, the opening scene of Half-Blood Prince still stands out to me more than just about anything in DH2.

Also, Bonnie Wright could have been replaced with a wooden plank in a red wig, and I don't think anyone would have known the difference. It made sense for her to be Harry's love interest in the books, but on screen, it never came across to me, because she's easily the worst actor in the film. She has no presence whatsoever, she's just kind of there. Every time she's shown up in the last few films, I've been like "Oh yeah... Ginny." I've always thought that Luna made a much better foil for Harry in the films. Oh well.
Posted: Mon, 18th Jul 2011, 3:40am

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Terminal Velocity

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Spoilers ahead.

Really good movie. Outshines the rest of the series by a country mile, in my opinion. It was by far the most emotional and exciting of the series. The other movies were a collection of scenes that never seemed to have much real relevance, tension, or feeling. This movie completely overturned that precedent and made a film that stands out.

Great Parts
1. Fred's death. Dying offscreen is something not used very often, but it's very effective in showing the indiscriminate nature of war: how it doesn't pause and wait so that a dramatic death scene can be fully played out.

2. Snape's memory scene. It changed my entire view of him and his actions. Matter of fact, it's such a good scene that I think it belongs in a different movie. Nothing in this series has reached such a level of excellence. It was like a scene from Lord of the Rings: epic, deep, and resonant. Best scene in the series.

3. The "Harry Potter is dead!" scene. It sounded familiar for a second, and then I realized it sounded a lot like a) the scene from Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe where Aslan dies, and a scene in any number of Gospel adaptions in which Christ dies. From that point, I came to view Harry's sacrifice as such. He seems so confused throughout the entire series, he never really has time to make a noble or heroic choice, so none of the choices he makes seem to reflect his character. But that particular scene changed my viewpoint. From there, I saw Harry as more of a hero and less of a confused boy. I'm not sure why, but it was really effective for me. Plus, Voldemort finally raises his voice in that scene and drops the husky noise, so he gets that epic voice that Ramses had in Prince of Egypt (also played by Fiennes). He really should have had that voice the entire time.

4. Neville.

5. Voldemort's death scene. I wasn't sure how it was going to end. I mean, how do you end something like this? Does Harry say a catchphrase and blow him to bits? Do you stab him? I like the fact that Voldemort just kind of died, even though it was somewhat anti-climactic. One thing that undermined it, though: what if Voldemort isn't really dead? He died already before when Harry was an infant. He died and then disappeared. And that's almost exactly what happened in this movie. Even if it's not true, I get the uncomfortable possibility that Voldemort isn't actually dead: like he's still out there, waiting to come back in a couple thousand years or whatever.

6. The end. It was a really great ending. Like LOTR. Even though it wasn't a great series, and I only saw the first film about a year ago, I still felt a really strong sense of closure: the end of a journey. There's something about this type of ending that I just love. I don't know why. But it is amazing, and the ending was great.

Specfic Issues
1. First 40 minutes. I'm sure these were all important scenes and stuff to get the Horcrux, but to me it seemed like a lot of diddling around. A boring mine cart scene, a couple thingies. Just didn't seem that important. "GO GRAB THE HORCRUX!" "Okay, here it is." "Oh...well that was easy."

2. The forbidden spells. I may be missing something again, but I could have sworn that in one of the ten billion previous films, the Imperius, Cruciatus, and Avada Kedavra curses were all inexcusably forbidden. Then in film 5, Harry uses Cruciatus on Bellatrix, and in this movie he uses Imperius two or three times during the Gringotts scene. ???????? What, did the authorities on magic just forget about the whole forbidden thing? Were they too lazy to follow through with it? On the subject, what about using magic around Muggles? Looks like that law was thrown out after Harry used it to save himself from Dementors in the 4th film, I believe.

3. Why does Voldemort keep trying to use the Killing Curse on Harry? It didn't work when he was a vulnerable little baby, what makes him think it's going to work now? Why doesn't Harry just let Voldemort hit him and blast himself back into oblivion?

4. How do spells match up against sniper rifles or .50 cal machine guns?

5. Ron and Hermione's sudden kiss. Talk about random. Wasn't she dancing with Harry in the last movie? And on that note: Harry and Ginny's sudden kiss. Hormones apparently pop up just randomly and always in horribly dangerous situations.

6. That one troll was totally from 300.

7. The animated knight statues. Why didn't McGonagall just animate the entire roof and drop it on Voldemort? Kind of silly, but still.

8. Why is Harry the chosen one? I know he survived the killing curse and all...but he's never really shown any special affinity for killing Voldemort. Why isn't Dumbledore the chosen one? He seems infinitely more capable. (Until he died.) Or maybe Hermione, she's better than Harry.

9. Voldemort just doesn't seem like much of a mighty wizard in general. He never really shows anything that makes him more capable than anyone else. He's just the most evil. I've heard that he's a great villain, but I must be missing something, because he doesn't seem to have anything that makes a good villain. He's not particularly powerful. He has no subtlety: way too hammy and goofy. His personality is basic at best. His motivation seems pretty generic. And because of all this, he doesn't seem very sinister. He's a paper villain without anything particularly distinctive to define him. When the series' main conflict is as weak as this, it's hard to care about anything that happens in relation to it. Even the mediocre romance plot is better.

10. Emma Watson needs to drop that perplexed/anxious look plastered on her face through the entire series.

But not to end on a low note: as I've already said, awesome movie, awesome end to a decent series.

8/10.

EDIT: Dang it! Beat me to it!

Aculag wrote:

provides a really good sense of closure
I probably would have seen this if I hadn't taken so long to write the post.
Posted: Mon, 18th Jul 2011, 8:26am

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Atom

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Not that I'm a huge Harry Potter fanatic, books-wise at least, but I thought I could answer these two questions pretty easily.

Terminal Velocity wrote:


8. Why is Harry the chosen one? I know he survived the killing curse and all...but he's never really shown any special affinity for killing Voldemort.
Exactly. It's the arbitrary, 'where's the root/what's the reason?' mystique that's so pressing the whole series. Who knows why some get their glory when others more-capable, more-destined, or more-deserving don't. This is sort of part-one of the crux of the whole series.

Harry, for a very straight-forward reason, was 'the boy who lived'. The fact that he lived and his preservation-of-life is what destroyed Voldemort and, in turn, tied him to Voldemort, by itself makes his very existence important.

As a person of power, he's nobody. Just a regular kid. But this, again, is sort of the ongoing intrigue of the whole series. He's representative of persistence in living. The second part of the 'crux of the series', then, is...

9. Voldemort just doesn't seem like much of a mighty wizard in general. He never really shows anything that makes him more capable than anyone else. He's just the most evil.
The fear of death. Voldemort, in the end, really isn't the most powerful wizard of all- he's just persistently evil. What makes him so powerful, then? So feared?

Why, it's the levels to which he's willing to do anything and be so evil, of course. It's really, truly the Hitler-complex- and I think it's the secondary theme of the whole series. He can't wield the elder wand, his powers aren't particularly vast. Voldemort, in the end, is really revealed to be strong- but strongest in his ability to galvanize support for himself. To be so evil, that evil-doers just naturally follow him. That those that don't, (perhaps overestimating-ly) fear him.

And what is this all based around? Voldemort's own mortal fear of death. He doesn't understand it, he can't control it, and it is therefore the thing he seeks most to conquer. It's the ultimate power, living forever- and I believe it's the root of basically all of his motivation.

Voldemort's evil ways are the result of his own self-serving fear of the unknown, and the lack of his own existence. It is for this reason the otherwise-average Harry Potter is so crucially important. The reason he's 'the chosen one'.

He defied death. And in doing so, he instills fear, more than anything probably, in Voldemort. In that which he can't control, and doesn't understand.

And frankly, I thought this was handled pretty supremely, and always has been, in the movies and books. It's the 'attraction factor' to the series for me, I feel like. There's this ongoing theme of life and death, and how they consume us- even though, in the end, as Neville says 'It's just death. People die every day.'

I really, in addition to many other things, thought this brought the whole series together pretty beautifully.
Posted: Mon, 18th Jul 2011, 10:08am

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Staff Only

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I can answer the Potter-lore questions Atom answered, but from a book perspective. Atom's answers were completley consistent with what we are told in the films.

Terminal Velocity wrote:

8. Why is Harry the chosen one? I know he survived the killing curse and all...but he's never really shown any special affinity for killing Voldemort. Why isn't Dumbledore the chosen one? He seems infinitely more capable. (Until he died.) Or maybe Hermione, she's better than Harry.
This is explored in the book. Trelawney gives a prophecy when interviewing for the job as divination teacher. That is the reason Dumbledore hires her even though he can tell she's a fraud. He wants to keep her close in case she has another real prediction. (Which is what I love about Dumbledore's character. He always seems like a loving, harmless, well meaning old man, but he's been fighting a war like a giant chess match for years. It's his grand plan that wins the war in the end, after his death. That's badass.) Trelawney says:

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives..."

Unfortunately Snape overhears it and tells Voldemort. This prophecy could apply to either Harry or Neville Longbottom. Whichever Voldemort chose to murder would have been the Chosen One. The point is that if Voldemort hadn't done anything, there wouldn't have been a Chosen One. Voldemort created his own worst enemy, ironically in a standard main villain cliché; he went a murdered a little boy's parents. It's even on the Evil Overlord List:

38. If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of vengeance towards me in my old age.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvilOverlordList

Anyway yeah. Voldemort's attempted murder of Harry was a crucial part to fulfilling the prophecy. Dumbledore had some interesting insights about this I don't currently remember.


Terminal Velocity wrote:

9. Voldemort just doesn't seem like much of a mighty wizard in general. He never really shows anything that makes him more capable than anyone else. He's just the most evil.
Voldemort is the most powerful in the book. His character is that he's been a psychopath since he was a child. He tortured children and little animals when he was in the orphanage. Then the moment he realized Dumbledore could see right through him and was the key to gaining a wand; he became sneaky. He used his high intelligence and good looks to seduce and manipulate everyone around him. Spinning people like Slughorn around his finger. Only Dumbledore didn't fall for it. (I always got the feeling Voldemort regretted showing Dumbledore his true colors that day in the orphanage. Like he created another nemesis by continually proving to Dumbledore that Dumbledore was the only man who could see Riddle for what he was.)

Now I've said it before; I don't think JKR put enough time into making distinctions between a really powerful wizard (Dumbledore, Voldemort, Grindelwald, Shacklebolt, Flitwick, Bellatrix) and average wizards (Potter, Weasley), so even in the book you might be wondering what makes Voldemort so bad since he only uses a spell akin to firing a gun (kills one person on impact). Lot's of people can use that spell (and no talent idiot Pettigrew supposedly blew up a street and killed 12 muggles in one spell). However the idea is that he’s virtually unbeatable in a duel, and has knowledge of magic and power that rivals Dumbledore.

I was never a fan of how human he’s played in the films. In the books he’s a complete monster. He is completely cold, and hardly shows any emotion in 7 books. In the books he doesn’t even feel a Horcrux dying. He walks into the school at the end completely neutral and confident (having killed Snape and Potter). Then Harry wakes back up and completely humiliates him for 5 pages before killing him.

Evman wrote:

Ok wow, that ended up being a lot if you read all that I'll be impressed. smile
I did, and agree with everything you said! Especially this:

Evman wrote:

It's just tough for me to remember most of the movie because it frankly wasn't as memorable as I'd hoped. I think I need to see it again, clearing my head, and knowing that these things are issues going in, so I can enjoy the good parts more.
Which is why I seemed so critical in this thread. I feel the complete high I was on after leaving the theater after seeing Return of the King hasn't ended to this day 8 years later. I can still remember my friends, the weather, the place I sat in the theater, everything clear as day and it still gives me goosebumps to think back. I almost forgot the entire DH2 the moment I left the theater. That's not acceptable. unsure
Posted: Tue, 19th Jul 2011, 1:01am

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Azulon'sAssassin

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In regards to a few things Atom said...

1: I believe that it's forgivable if using the non deadly curses saves a few billion lives. (As for using the crucio curse on my personal favorite, Bellatrix, I think that was just because she killed the only living member of his family that loved him.)

2:Well, what's Voldy gonna do otherwise? That's sorta what he does. The killing curse. I actually think that if it weren't for that, he would've won.

3: I'm pretty sure that when you can calmly trow a giant off a bridge with a flick of the wand, (Like Voldemort did to that dead one after he killed Harry,) you can block bullets with one to.


4: Voldy Is a good villain, just has the same weakness as all others, he loves to kill. He is a VERY powerful wizard. Like when he just screams and the entire frickin room explodes in OOTP and when he takes down that HUGE shield that ALL the adults put up around the school. I just find that they went into more depth with him than the usual "Ok he's a bad guy that likes to torture and kill and wants complete control." I think they made him more of a man-snake thing than they did with , oh say, Venom. I like Venom, but he's a typical bad guy. I think the only other villains that REALLY had depth and a "character" I know of are the always awesome Darth Vader, Captain Barbossa, Princess Azula (she's from Avatar the Last Airbender the series.), and Bellatrix Lestrange.
Posted: Tue, 19th Jul 2011, 2:07am

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Terminal Velocity

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Azulon; Atom didn't ask those questions, I did. I don't want to clog up the topic with a long debate about plot holes anyway. Most of my questions were not really meant to be answered in this thread.
Posted: Tue, 19th Jul 2011, 2:19am

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Azulon'sAssassin

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Terminal Velocity wrote:

Azulon; Atom didn't ask those questions, I did. I don't want to clog up the topic with a long debate about plot holes anyway. Most of my questions were not really meant to be answered in this thread.
Yeah, I just noticed my mistake before I read your post. Anyway, I wasn't answering your questions so much as stating my take on them. It wasn't really a direct answer towards you. i guess I did right them sorta like that though, so my bad.
Posted: Tue, 19th Jul 2011, 4:06am

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Limey

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I thought it was pretty cool.
Posted: Tue, 19th Jul 2011, 5:18am

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jawajohnny

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Terminal Velocity wrote:

Azulon; Atom didn't ask those questions, I did. I don't want to clog up the topic with a long debate about plot holes anyway. Most of my questions were not really meant to be answered in this thread.
Just to clarify... most of your questions aren't plot holes at all. While I won't go into detail about them, pretty much every one is explained at some point during the previous films. In short, Harry is the chosen one because Voldemort heard about the prophecy (the one in Order of the Phoenix) and believed Harry was the boy mentioned. Therefore, he chose to kill Harry. However, his killing curse rebounded on him because Harry was protected by Lily's love for him (literally). It's not explained as in-depth in the movies, but the gist is that love is a really powerful thing... and Voldemort has absolutely no comprehension of it (again, this is a theme in Order of the Phoenix). This enchantment did not break until the moment Harry left Privet Drive in Part I (the reason he lived there was because he would be safe as long as he was living with his family --- Petunia is Lily's sister). Lily's enchantment broke the day Harry came of age. This was why Voldemort attacked them in the sky in Part I --- because he was en route from one safe house to another.

Also, regarding the Unforgivable curses. Yes, they're unforgivable, and can lead to serious repercussions. But... it's mostly Voldemort and the Death Eaters who use them... and they obviously don't give a darn about Wizarding law. If any of the kids used them, they'd get in serious trouble. However, they're not really able to use those spells anyways, because they take a lot of focus and skill. The idea (mentioned in Goblet of Fire) is that you have to mean the curse. Harry tried the cruciatus on Bellatrix, but he didn't put quite enough emotion into it. As far as their use in Part II, basically, Voldemort had overthrown the Ministry at that point (see Part I). So there are no magical authorities to enforce the law. Lastly, you're right, you can't use magic around Muggles. As far as I know, no one does during the series, except for when Harry fought off the Dementors. He was cleared of those charges (with help from Dumbledore), simply because he was in a life-or-death situation... and he had to defend himself.
Posted: Tue, 19th Jul 2011, 9:40am

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jawajohnny wrote:

As far as I know, no one does during the series, except for when Harry fought off the Dementors.
Philosopher's Stone Harry uses magic in front of muggles several times by accident.

Harry and Ron flew a car in front of muggles in CoS. Dobby uses magic in front of the Dursleys.

Harry used magic on his aunt in PoA. Sirius and Pettigrew duel in front of muggles.

Wizards camped out with a muggle family in GoF. They obliviated them every now and then, but it turned ugly when Death Eaters showed up and abused the muggles. Voldemort used magic around the Riddle estate and was seen by the janitor. Also Mad Eye fighting Barty Crouch Jr. is heard by muggles who call the police.

I Order Harry did it in front of Dudley.

In Half Blood Prince they used magic around muggles all the time in the muggle killings. Also in front of the prime minister of England.

In Deathly Hallows on Hermione's parents, and in the diner they fight the Death Eaters.
Posted: Tue, 19th Jul 2011, 1:52pm

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Aculag

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Yes Gringott's is a magical goblin bank, but it's still located in London, yes? Surely some muggles must have seen that great white dragon hobbling through the sky. Diagon Alley isn't THAT big. THIS MOVIE MAKES NO SENSE.
Posted: Tue, 19th Jul 2011, 1:57pm

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Azulon'sAssassin

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@Staff Only-It's not against wizard law if you can't control your magic yet. That would be like arresting a baby for jay-walking(jay-crawling?)
Posted: Tue, 19th Jul 2011, 2:57pm

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Staff Only

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Aculag wrote:

Yes Gringott's is a magical goblin bank, but it's still located in London, yes? Surely some muggles must have seen that great white dragon hobbling through the sky. Diagon Alley isn't THAT big. THIS MOVIE MAKES NO SENSE.
Yes. I didn't list it because I didn't really see it as "using magic", also in the book there are low clouds which they quickly get over. Yates is obsessed in the films with having moronic scenes of wizards flying brooms, motorcycles and dragons low over London that weren't in the book.

Azulon'sAssassin wrote:

@Staff Only-It's not against wizard law if you can't control your magic yet. That would be like arresting a baby for jay-walking(jay-crawling?)
Yes, I know they don't enforce the law on children who haven't got wands yet (especially muggle-borns), but it's still against the law. Just as it is against the law for a baby to jay-walk. The parents suffer the consequences for letting that happen. Not that I said anything about the law in my post, I was just listing some incidents where they used magic in front of muggles.
Posted: Tue, 19th Jul 2011, 4:08pm

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jawajohnny

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Oh jeez... how stupid of me to forget all those. redface Maybe I only remember the scene in Order because it was the most blatant, and that Harry actually faced disciplinary action that time.

When they fly over London, they use special "chameleon" charms so that the Muggles can't see them. This isn't really explained in the movies, but it's very subtly suggested that the Muggles simply can't see them.

Regarding Gringotts and other magical locations, remember that they are magically "fit" into places. I like to think of it like the two universes on Fringe. They exist in the same place, but you can only "cross over" and see the other side if you know how to do it. Look at Grimmauld Place (Sirius' house). That literally appears between the two existing homes (the occupants don't notice anything) when someone needs to enter or leave (and knows the house is there in the first place). Gringotts, Hogwarts, and other magical locations are situated the same way. It obviously isn't explained in the movies... but for example, if a Muggle were to approach Hogwarts, they'd only see the bare countryside. And then if they tried to get too close, they'd suddenly remember that they had a very important date or appointment (in the opposite direction, of course!).

Essentially, most of the "plot holes" or "questions" people might have are actually explained in the books, with a simple throwaway "explanation line. Obviously, they don't make it into the movies, because it'll just seem like forced exposition.

But let's not get too off topic. Let's bring the focus back to the actual film. smile
Posted: Tue, 19th Jul 2011, 4:40pm

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Azulon'sAssassin

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Well, I guess you would have a point there, staff Only.
Posted: Tue, 19th Jul 2011, 6:25pm

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Aculag

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jawajohnny wrote:

Essentially, most of the "plot holes" or "questions" people might have are actually explained in the books, with a simple throwaway "explanation line. Obviously, they don't make it into the movies, because it'll just seem like forced exposition.
And because it really doesn't even matter. It's a magical world, and we should just accept that. An explanation for any of the magical things in Harry Potter would ruin it. It's magic, and that's all we need to know. smile
Posted: Wed, 20th Jul 2011, 1:22am

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Azulon'sAssassin

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Aculag wrote:

jawajohnny wrote:

Essentially, most of the "plot holes" or "questions" people might have are actually explained in the books, with a simple throwaway "explanation line. Obviously, they don't make it into the movies, because it'll just seem like forced exposition.
And because it really doesn't even matter. It's a magical world, and we should just accept that. An explanation for any of the magical things in Harry Potter would ruin it. It's magic, and that's all we need to know. smile
Nice observation there. smile
Posted: Thu, 21st Jul 2011, 12:30am

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Azulon'sAssassin

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Went and saw it a second time today (just got back) and I only found three negative things. (and two of them are because of me! eek )

1: Nagini made Hermione and ron look stupid.

2: Due do my thinking that Bellatrix just ownes everyone in the HP movies, I get annoyed by her kind of quick death.

3: I have issues with the fact that Voldemort threw Bellatrix on the ground. Poor Bella. She was just trying to help in her own wierd way. frown
Posted: Thu, 21st Jul 2011, 12:49am

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Terminal Velocity

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Azulon's Assassin wrote:

I have issues with the fact that Voldemort threw Bellatrix on the ground. Poor Bella. She was just trying to help in her own wierd way.
Well, he is evil...
Posted: Wed, 27th Jul 2011, 6:48am

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Simon K Jones

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I'm in general agreement with Staff Only and Evman.

But first, the good things:

- Neville.
- Anything Snape-related.
- Ralph Fiennes.
- Anything involving the adult wizards.
- Hermione-Bellatrix

Otherwise, though, it left me with a profound sense of "oh, is that it?"

It's exactly the problem that I feared it would have, after seeing Part 1. This is, of course, largely something that would only affect somebody that hasn't read the books, such as myself:

Deathly Hallows Part 1 is all build-up, with no climax. As such, it felt like an unfinished film. It just stopped halfway through a scene. While I loved the film and really enjoyed it, the abrupt cut off didn't work as a cliffhanger, or as an 'end of part 1', or anything from a sensible narrative point of view - it just stopped.

Deathly Hallow Part 2 is all climax and no build-u-. As such, the climax is emotionally weightless and nothing has any particular resonance. Because I wasn't given any time to settle in to the world and characters, I didn't really care about anything that was happening. It was literally like walking in on a movie's final 20 minutes having missed the rest of it.

As I stated at the time Part 1 was released, they should have released both parts simultaneously. If I'd seen Part 1 and then had the option of immediately (or the next day, or whatever) seeing Part 2, it might have worked. Separated by months, it simply doesn't work. By the time I'd remembered what was going on, half the characters were already dead.

Which isn't to say it was a bad film. It isn't, by any means. But I think Staff Only is absolutely right in saying that while Yates was perfect for the character-based stuff in the previous few films, he didn't have the sense of scale to handle this climax in a suitable manner.

Also: after the Gringotts break-in, did Ron and Hermione actually do anything in this film?
Posted: Wed, 27th Jul 2011, 7:48am

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Joshua Davies

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I've not read the books either but I was annoyed by Neville being so pivotal in this film especially as Ron and Hermione do nothing at all.

Actually, the whole thing was a bit of an anti-climax - I was rather numbed by the whole experience. I left the film thinking of a million ways I wished it had ended rather than wanting to recount what had happened with the people I went to watch it with - never a good sign.

Just like the last couple of HP films this one just wasn't very strong. I guess the whole story arc has always seemed weak in the films, like it was made up as they went along, but it really stopped this film from having any serious impact. There have been more powerful and scary scenes in the other films - the Dumbledore vs Voldemort fight in Order of the Phoenix for instance. This film SHOULD have been epic but it really wasn't.

I'm sure if you read all the books you're able to fill in tons of missing plot pieces which build a richer story - but it is a shame that they didn't try harder with this film.
Posted: Wed, 27th Jul 2011, 4:18pm

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jawajohnny

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Here's the thing. It's your own fault if you don't remember what was going on. The Harry Potter films (and Lord of the Rings, for that matter) don't waste any time telling you what happened in the previous films. That's what the previous films are for. razz Naturally, if you don't remember previous events, you won't be emotionally invested in the current events. This was a two part film. It is supposed to be treated as such. Part I was the first two acts... and then Part II is the third act. Indeed, I don't much like that they were released months apart. But... it's pretty clear that they're "one" film. Put them together, and you have the very best, most faithful, and most epic Potter film of all. I watched the Part I Blu-ray immediately before going to Part II, so I remembered everything going into Part II. Additionally, I re-watched all the films, and looking at the series as a whole, I can tell you that it works. There are no holes in the story that they were telling. Sure, there were subplots that were cut, but the core story remains entirely intact. You don't need to have knowledge from the books to "fill in the gaps" of the movies... you just need to remember what's been established in previous films. Essentially, you'd understand all the "Potter-isms" (all the ridiculous magical objects and explanations) a lot better, because they've all been built up in previous films.

As far as your story complaints go, those all flaws that are very evident in the source material. You're absolutely right... Ron and Hermione have nothing to do. That problem is very evident in the book, as well. The third act is all about Harry, leaving Ron and Hermione with nothing much to do besides stand by his side. Actually, they did try to remedy this issue a bit, and give them something to do in the film. The sequence where they go into the Chamber of Secrets to find the Basilisk fangs was not described in the book. They merely mentioned to Harry that they had gone down there. And again, you're right about the "is that it?" feeling. In the book, Harry and Voldemort each shoot one curse at each other... and Voldemort just keels over. It was the most anti-climactic thing I'd ever read. And then, it just ends. There were no goodbyes to any of the beloved characters... just a description of Harry looking at everyone gathered in the Great Hall. I liked that the movie gave us a Hagrid/Harry moment, but I was hoping that they'd up the celebration a bit.

So to sum up my response here... you have to look at Parts I and II s one whole, and by extension, the rest of the series as a whole.
Posted: Wed, 27th Jul 2011, 4:29pm

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Simon K Jones

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I still maintain that the films do a fairly appalling job of telling the story. Even if all the information is there, the emphasis is completely off - hence non-book-readers not getting the deer thing, and not understanding the resurrection stone, and not getting the 'Harry is a horcrux' thing, and not caring in the slightest about Dobby dying because he was just some random Jar Jar Binks wannabe in Movie 2 that everybody had forgotten about. Same with the invisibility cloak - I thought everybody had one of those, but turns out it's some Epic Item that only Harry has?

Stories told in multiple parts is fine - I love LotR, Back to the Future, etc. All of those were specifically constructed to be told like that, though. Deathly Hallows is a single story, cut in half - that's a very different thing, and I don't think it works at all.

I do look forward to watching them back-to-back one day to see how much of a difference it makes.
Posted: Wed, 27th Jul 2011, 7:11pm

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jawajohnny

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Okay... Here comes another fanboy-ish post, but I hope Tarn and the other non-readers find it somewhat insightful. smile

Yeah... I really think watching them all, marathon style, will help. I personally belive that upon close examination, the story comes through loud and clear. That said, you do raise a few good points. I wouldn't say that all the movies do a terrible job of telling the story... Rather, only two of them do. I think all the films are awesome, with the exception of Goblet of Fire being significantly worse than the rest. That film failed to build up some important plot points and character relationships that would end up being important down the line. First of all, it failed to include Dobby. Dobby ended up helping Harry through the Triwizard Tournament... He was actually the one who gave Harry the gillyweed (in the movie, Neville gave it to him). It would have further established that Dobby would always be there to help Harry when he's in need. Then, in a completely stupid move, they didn't show Sirius Black in the movie. While he was in the movie (communicating with the trio through the fireplace), they chose to have his face form out of the fire, rather than just have his face appear unobscured like it was written. Only including him in one scene (and obscuring him, at that) was a pretty silly move considering his importance in the previous, and subsequent films. And I'm not even mentioning that they turned Dumbledore into an angry douche bag.

While it's ultimately one of the better movies, Prisoner of Azkaban failed to even touch upon the fact that Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black, and James Potter were all best friends, and that they were actually the creators of the Marauder's Map. Lupin = Moony, Pettigrew = Wormtail, Black = Padfoot, and Potter = Prongs (the nicknames stood for the creatures they transformed into, werewolf, rat, dog, and stag). That was one of the few things that would confuse someone who hasn't read the books... Because in subsequent films, people just start calling them by their nicknames (Wormtail and Padfoot in particular), like we're supposed to know who they are. And when the names play such an important role in the plot, like when in Order of the Phoenix, when Harry tells Snape, "You Know Who has Padfoot"...the lack of buildup can become glaring. A non-reader would be asking, who's Padfoot and does Snape know what Harry's really talking about? He did, but that's not made clear.

Overall, though, I think the series has done a very good job telling the story... In fact it's been more faithful to the books than I think anyone could have possibly imagined... Only deviating in an effort to give scenes more cinematic flair (much like Lord of the Rings). They literally didn't leave anything critical out of the story... The core Harry/Voldemort story (the prophecy from Phoenix) is very much on display throughout. And the Snape subplot has been really strong throughout, no doubt brought to life by Alan Rickman, whom I really think should be in awards contention. Other than those two plots, and of course the Ron/Hermione development, there really wasn't anything else to tell. I think many people make the mistake of thinking that you need to have read the books to fully understand the story, but that's just not true. Everything you need is right there in the films... And aside from the aforementioned "issues", any disconnect they'd have comes from not remembering the previous films, or from not totally embracing and accepting the silly "magical" plot devices. Actually, you made a good point in the Half-Blood Prince thread, Tarn. You called it, "Harry Potter and the Vague Plot-Point". That is spot-on. Much of the time, the "thing" the book/movie is about, really has no bearing on the story. They actually cut the explanation for Snape being the Half-Blood Prince in the movie. Really, he was a half-blood (one muggle parent, one wizard parent), and his mother's madden name was Prince. And Harry just happened to be using Snape's old potions book (hence, all the awesome potions tips). When people say that the emphasis isn't on the right parts of the story (like the Half-Blood Prince), the truth is that there really isn't anything else there, although it seems like there should be. Same thing goes for the Deathly Hallows. They were literally used to provide a random reason for Harry to beat Voldemort. Voldemort wasn't the rightful owner of the Elder Wand, therefore it failed him. Evenly matched, Voldemort would have killed Harry in an instant. Then there's the resurruction stone. Dumbledore left it to Harry so he could use it to prepare for his sacrifice --- so that he wouldn't be alone. And that's it. Not really grand or important in the grand scheme of things. Then, the invisibility cloak really served no purpose, in the book, or the film. It just happened to be the third Hallow in the story, that Harry just happened to have himself (handed down from his dad). Absolutely no relevance to the story, except it helps Harry sneak around sometimes. And not that it matters, but you're right, Tarn. There are lots of Invisibility Cloaks. The idea is that the one mentioned in the story is the first one... And it is the only "perfect" one. The other other ones were made by wizards (not death), so there would be slight imperfections... And you wouldn't be 100% invisible. Harry just happens to have the "real" one. AgAin, there's no real significance... It's just mentioned.

So yeah, I really think that after watching them all back, you'll get a lot more out of the story. Knowing now how it ends, you can actually pick out scenes and say, "oh, now I see what that means", or even more generally, "I get it now!".

Really, I'm not trying to defend the films... But I'm merely making observations as someone who has read the books, seen all the movies,, and is a diehard fan of both. The books are flawed masterpieces, and so are the movies. The books have there problems, and as a result, so do the movies. But as a whole, I think they are both a massive achievement in the fantasy genre. To tell a single story of good vs. Evil over aspen of that many installments, and to have tactually hold up upon close examination and re-watching and re-reading, is unheard-of. Other film franchises like Star Wars and Stat Trek, tend to get torn apart by their own internal contradictions (look what George Lucas did to his own story with the prequels), while Harry Potter totally works as a seven installment narrative. Who knows if Rowling is telling the truth when she says she planned it all out from the beginning... But the story works either way. She tied it up beautifully, while Lucas only mucked things up. For this reason, I now think Harry Potter is bothvthe greatest book and movie series of all-time.
Posted: Wed, 27th Jul 2011, 8:25pm

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Azulon'sAssassin

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Well, I'm not sure I agree with jawajohnny on the fact that the Star Wars prequels mucked up the rest of the series (not that I'm saying I think they're amazing. I think they're good, but no where near as great as the origional trilogy) but other than that, I agree with him 100%. Also, I was looking at a little interview with the director of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2. He actually said he gets agravated at the things they cut out, too, but they had to make some sacrafices. And think of it this way: It's a great movie, but in some ways more than others. It could have been like The Last Airbender. eek Then I would have said "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!" Of course that last part was hypethetical.
Posted: Wed, 27th Jul 2011, 9:31pm

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Terminal Velocity

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On a side note, all that stuff about Dobby: he's obviously pretty powerful in his own right. I'd say he displays more power than anyone else in the movies. Why doesn't he play a much larger role in the films? He could probably have beaten Voldemort on his own.
Posted: Wed, 27th Jul 2011, 11:21pm

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Rating: +2

Terminal Velocity wrote:

On a side note, all that stuff about Dobby: he's obviously pretty powerful in his own right. I'd say he displays more power than anyone else in the movies. Why doesn't he play a much larger role in the films? He could probably have beaten Voldemort on his own.
This is kind of just a thing in the books (like; why don't the eagles fly them to Mordor, why doesn't Doctor Manhattan fix everything, why doesn't Yoda leave Dagobah) that is hinted at in a way that makes it seem intentional. The basic explanation is that house-elves don't have it in them to attack a wizard. Dobby was very weird to do so against Malfoy. In fact Dobby and Kreacher are seen brawling in the books, but they don't use magical attacks. The reason Dobby isn't sent to fight is that I don't think anyone had the heart to ask "A free elf" to become a soldier. As with LotR, Watchmen and Star Wars the reason is basically that these characters are too detached to take part in the fighting (though Revenge of the Sith explains that Yoda can't beat the Emperor).

As to jawajohnny's post you are really taking some factual liberties with bashing the books to make the movies seem like the problems started there. Deathly Hallows did not end with Harry staring around the Great Hall. He was in Dumbledore's office with Ron and Hermione talking to Dumbledore's portrait. The final fight was always going to be anticlimactic in the sense that Harry was never going to beat Voldemort at duelling. I still think Harry humiliating Voldemort for 5 pages worked pretty well.

I also think you go way to far in trying to insinuate that plot-points didn’t matter in Harry Potter. Almost all of the books are written like mystery-books. Harry is at Hogwarts -> Something is a little wrong -> Harry can’t help but investigate -> He get’s into danger -> Mystery is revealed. That is a completely valid narrative (used in thrillers, murders mysteries and Scooby Doo). Half Blood Prince is set up like this: “Who is the Half-Blood Prince? What is Malfoy doing?” and the reveal is perfectly satisfying. And to give the story some character-weight JKR makes the entire book into Hermione (being jealous of Harry beating her at potions) trying to prove that the Half-Blood is dangerous and that Harry should get rid of the book. Harry spends the entire story defending the Prince and telling Hermione to give it a rest. At the end Hermione (kind of accidentally) rubs is in Harry’s face that he spent the entire book sticking up for Dumbledore’s killer. Harry is devastated.

All the books are like this:

- What is behind the trapdoor? Who is Nicholas Flamel?
- What is the Chamber of Secrets? What is the monster? Who is the heir of Slyhterin?
- Where is Sirius Black and why does he really want to kill Harry? Why can’t Harry take Dementors? How did Black break out?
- Who put Harry’s name in the Goblet? (Without a doubt the most satisfying twist/explanation-scene in the whole series. Of course it was cut from the film.)
- What is behind the door in Harry’s dreams?
- Who is the Half-Blood Prince?

Only Deathly Hallows deviates, and yet it still has a big twist/explanation-scene at the end where Harry explains to Voldemort his “flaw in the plan” before killing him. It’s really no wonder the films feel empty when they tell the same exact story, but without the emphasis (that was an excellent word for it Tarn!) on the parts that matter. That is why the first three films feel so much more complete than the rest, because they actually kept the Mystery -> Resolution format of the books.

So you can’t just say that the books were like that. They weren’t. People would have criticised them for it. The only big narrative complaint JKR has to accept is that she uses this kind of storytelling waaaay to much:

“Harry, Ron and Hermione learn some incidental fact in class or in detention completely by coincidence that ends up being completely imperative to their survival at the end.”

There’s Chekhov’s Gun, and then there’s contrived storytelling. When reading the end of Deathly Hallows you can tell that JKR, as with all the other books, was not building up a big showdown, but a plot-twist. That’s JKR. That’s Harry Potter. However they could have easily fixed it in the films. In the books they never confirm or deny that being Master of Death is actually a real thing. However I like to think that the whole point was that by the time Harry and Voldemort met in the Great Hall Harry was Master of Death (which means possessing all the Hallows). That’s always been my interpretation. Dumbledore has been grooming Harry to become Master of Death before the showdown ever since he gave him the cloak in Philosopher’s Stone. That’s why he gave Harry the Resurrection Stone. I think it was massive failure not to mention the whole subplot about Dumbledore examining the cloak and then giving it to Harry, then they could just change it to that Harry says that he is Master of Death at the climax of the film. Plot-point solved.

I strongly advise you to just read the last part of the chapter “The Flaw in the Plan” in Deathly Hallows, Tarn, and tell me that isn’t a pretty good showdown and certainly better than the awkward duel in the movie. It’s actually very reminiscent of Luke’s showdown with the Emperor. They never fought, and it all came down who was right and who was wrong (about The Force/magic, and about allegiances).

And again, I’m tired of hearing about the circumstances around the films giving them some sort of importance. They are not the “Greatest series of all time”. And their greatness is all due to us willingly paying for the party all these years. With that amount of money and interest I would be surprised if Heyman did manage to eff it up. To me it’s like saying James Bond is the greatest film-series of all time. Some people say that too. Lord of the Rings, The Godfather and the Original Star Wars trilogy have much more claim to that throne. On pop-culture/film history Star Wars puts Harry Potter to shame. Star Wars is a permanent part of western culture and it’s stayed strong for over 30 years. The only themed emoticons on IMDb are from Star Wars. This entire site we know each other from was built on Star Wars. When Tarn walks into his office every day it’s because of Star Wars. Without it he would probably be working somewhere else. And that is just based on the fact that people are so interested in making fan-films that you can build a business around it. Star Wars also invented the modern blockbuster. It saved Hollywood. Harry Potter will never touch any of that. With all the money, hype and James Cameron specifically wanting to rival Star Wars; Avatar didn’t even come close. Harry Potter is big to us, and one of the biggest books of all time, but the movies will only have a place in history due to the circumstances, not overall impact or quality. LotR had way more copycats (Troy, Kingdom of Heaven, 300, Deathly Hallows Part 2, Narina, Eragon, Game of Thrones TV-series etc.) than Harry (Percy Jackson, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Golden Compass), and all Harry’s copycats failed. The Matrix also had way more impact on film than 8 Harry Potter films.

I’m sorry but all the Harry Potter fans like you desperately wanting their thing to be as big as The Beatles and sliced bread put together just seem desperate to me. The books have their rightful place in history. Just because the films were rushed into production long before they were knew where the story was going, and were plagued with different directors and inconsistent style/tone doesn’t make that any less true. And artificially trying to build up a bunch of often average fantasy movies as some greatness for the ages won’t work. I do not anticipate these films will age well at all.

I can imagine the books staying relevant for many, many decades.
Posted: Thu, 28th Jul 2011, 6:11am

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Pooky

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I just gotta hand it to you, Staff - you're absolutely spot on.
Posted: Thu, 28th Jul 2011, 7:26am

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Simon K Jones

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Fascinating post, Staff Only. I generally agree, although I would actually wager that the films will stand the test of time, if only because they're so family friendly (at least the earlier films) and will therefore be perennial Christmas favourites etc.

I might check out that chapter you mention, as my partner has all of the books lying around somewhere.

The comparison with Luke's defeat of the Emperor is an interesting one - again, the hero doesn't actually do much at the end, but it is his prior actions and loyalties and ethics that result in victory.

Deathly Hallows seemed to be building up to an epic battle, but ultimately was just two actors pointing sticks at each other, until one of them wasn't there anymore.

As I think back on the film, I really miss not having a proper 'goodbye' to all the other characters, particularly Hagrid. Thinking back on how critical Hagrid was to the previous films, it's bizarre that he only has an unexplained cameo in this one. The story could really have done with either a proper victory scene (Return of the Jedi style) or a series of sombre farewells (LotR/Babylon 5 style). After 10 years and 7 films the characters simply deserved it.

Probably the best bit of the film for me was seeing Maggie Smith go up against Snape AND WIN, and then lead the defences in establishing the shield. That felt like seven years of pay-off of her character standing in the background scowling at naughty children: after 7 films of her being the strict teacher, we suddenly discover that she's utterly kick ass. Similarly, the stunning shot of Mr Weasley and another teacher (Lupin?) fighting in the belfry and blasting a Death Eater out of a window - awesome stuff.

The prophecy story with Harry felt like it was just ticking off plot points, in which you knew that a) Harry was going to survive, b) Voldemort was going to die and c) Ron and Hermione would probably be ok. Thus zero tension. The story I actually wanted to see was with the teachers and the students fighting for their lives - because they were all 'expendable'. That's where the emotion and tension and excitement was, but it was largely ignored and off-screen. sad
Posted: Thu, 28th Jul 2011, 9:35am

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Staff Only

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Tarn wrote:

As I think back on the film, I really miss not having a proper 'goodbye' to all the other characters, particularly Hagrid. Thinking back on how critical Hagrid was to the previous films, it's bizarre that he only has an unexplained cameo in this one. The story could really have done with either a proper victory scene (Return of the Jedi style) or a series of sombre farewells (LotR/Babylon 5 style). After 10 years and 7 films the characters simply deserved it.
Exactly! I still maintain that the book works (though I actually think Deathly Hallows is one of the weaker books), but the book does lack in this. In the film it is just too noticeable (and the film had way less resolution at the end than the book). They should have just realized in the script stage: "Look this ending isn't what this franchise deserves, let's write a 5-7 minute long resolution scene before we cut to 19 years into the future". All Harry Potter-books end with Harry talking to Dumbledore about what happened, and Dumbledore explaining things and making sure Harry will sleep at night again. I was worried that Deathly Hallows would feel empty without that scene when Dumbledore was killed in Half-Blood Prince, but JKR didn't just have one scene like that in the Deathly Hallows-book, but two. One at Kings Cross, and a short one in the headmasters office with Dumbledore's portrait after Voldemort had been killed. Dumbledore's portrait only confirms that Harry's post-battle actions were correct;

- Keeping the cloak
- Leaving the stone on the forest floor were no one would find it
- Putting the Elder Wand back in Dumbledore's grave

But I still think the movie needed more than even the book. It would just have felt right.

Tarn wrote:

Probably the best bit of the film for me was seeing Maggie Smith go up against Snape AND WIN, and then lead the defences in establishing the shield. That felt like seven years of pay-off of her character standing in the background scowling at naughty children: after 7 films of her being the strict teacher, we suddenly discover that she's utterly kick ass. Similarly, the stunning shot of Mr Weasley and another teacher (Lupin?) fighting in the belfry and blasting a Death Eater out of a window - awesome stuff.
I completely agree! How that happened was changed quite a bit from the book (though the same basic things happened) so that it happened way faster and in a more cinematic way. At this point in the film I was really getting my hopes up for the climax and the battle. Unfortunately this is the "biggest" scene in the movie, and the battle itself and all the characters in the mortal peril is small compared to it (which I also found really strange) as you mentioned.


PS: I was fortunate enough not to loose any friends (which also means Tommy Gundersen is fine) in the massacre this weekend. I still know people who have lost people. It is really very bleak and a great tragedy for Norway. I just thought I would drop a small comment. Has anyone heard from Klut?
Posted: Thu, 28th Jul 2011, 10:25am

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Simon K Jones

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Glad to hear you and Tommy are ok! I'm friends with Klut on Facebook and he's ok, thankfully.
Posted: Thu, 28th Jul 2011, 10:30am

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Staff Only

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That's great news! Thanks.

EDIT:

Tarn wrote:

I generally agree, although I would actually wager that the films will stand the test of time, if only because they're so family friendly (at least the earlier films) and will therefore be perennial Christmas favourites etc.
Yeah, you're probably right. Christmas runs on TV, Potter-fans and film-buffs will probably ensure that they last quite a while. Verdict is still out on how good viewers find these films in 10-20 years. Guess we'll see.
Posted: Thu, 28th Jul 2011, 6:40pm

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jawajohnny

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Tarn wrote:

I might check out that chapter you mention, as my partner has all of the books lying around somewhere.
If you have the time, just read all the books in their entirety. Despite their ridiculously long lengths, they are actually very quick reads.

As for Staff Only's and Tarn's comments... I still maintain that the flaws of the movie are indeed flaws of the book that are essentially "amplified" when seen on screen. Really, every single complaint you guys have is evident in the source material. And four years ago when it came out, I remember a lot of people not being happy with the final few chapters. The word, "Anti-climactic", was thrown around an awful lot. There are no goodbyes in the book. Nothing. After the very anti-climactic duel (seriously... Harry and Voldemort fire off one spell, and Voldemort keels over), and the aforementioned exchange between the trio, it just sort of ends. There's a brief description of everyone congregated in the Great Hall (as seen in the movie), and then it's on to the "19 Years Later" Epilogue. The movie actually added in that brief hug between Harry and Hagrid, as if they knew we'd have to at least say goodbye to him. Despite it's faithfulness to the book here... I think the lack of "goodbyes" does seem awkward in the movie. When reading that chapter, you sort of get to form your own picture of the scene... you can imagine all of them together in the Great Hall celebrating. But when translated onto the screen... it just feels... subdued. When you're used to a Return of the King, or Return of the Jedi celebration, the lack of one at the end of the final Harry Potter film is a bit awkward. However, like I said, that's the way it was written, so I can't really fault the movie for it. Would I have made some changes if I were the director? Yes. I would have definitely included some "proper" goodbyes... and I think I may have continued the Epilogue, and had it end with Hagrid greeting the first year students off the Hogwarts express, and then ending on the shot of the boats approaching the school. The story comes full-circle, if you will. But the way they have it, ending with the closeup on the trio, is appropriately poignant. One side not here: There's only one reason the film's Epilogue works for me. And that is... John Williams' End Theme. I was hoping and praying that Desplat/Yates would use it... and I'm really happy they did. That just makes the movie, for me. Brought me to tears.

So was the movie perfect? No. But it was a near-perfect adaptation of the source. Honestly, the final few chapters of the book (from right before Voldemort's death on), was massively underwhelming to me. Like I said, there are no goodbyes to the characters, no celebration, only a plot recap of sorts that spells out exactly how and why the events of the book happened the way they did. Despite this, I think the movie did do a superb job of making the ending more epic and cinematic. We get to see Harry and Voldemort duel for a bit, with Harry standing his ground against a much stronger opponent (staring straight into the face of death). But there is still a problem here, and it lies with J.K. Rowling. The only reason Harry emerges victorious is because Voldemort was not the proper owner of the Elder Wand, and therefore it resisted him. Nothing that Harry did. Here, I'm once again slightly disappointed in Rowling's reliance on using "magical plot devices" to explain big events. Why not have Harry actually defeat Voldemort with his "love" for his friends? Or some other way that better ties in to the good vs. evil theme of the series? Not just because Voldemort's wand failed him. See what I'm saying? While I obviously love both the books and movies, I've always maintained that Harry is a truly mediocre wizard. He is only special because Voldemort made him special. Just look at every single movie. Does he actually triumph in any situation? Or does he continuously get lucky. I'd say it's definitely the latter. He always either has someone to "bail him out", or some sort of magical device or paradox saves him from certain death. If I have one complaint about the series, that's it right there.

So yeah... like I said... I truly believe the movies have done a more than adequate job of telling the story. Sure, they've stripped it down to only the most essential parts... but they told that core story beautifully. You guys might complain that there's a lack of emphasis on certain elements of the plot... but if I were the director, I would have done it the same exact way. In the books, there is always a chapter towards the end, where Dumbledore sits Harry down and explains to him exactly what happened throughout the book. It takes an entire chapter to emphasize the plot. As awesome as I remember those chapters to be, it's still clunky storytelling. But the story more than makes up for it with it's character moments and classic good vs. evil themes. And the fantastic directing and acting throughout the films only makes them even better. Based on the public reaction to the movie... it seems they agree with me. The tomatoemeter certainly does (and they've always been quick to criticize the series in the past), and so do the audiences I've seen the film with. I've seen the movie twice now, and both times the entire theater clapped and cheered at the end. I've been going to the movies all my life... and that's only happened twice. Twice in the past two weeks. smile

EDIT: This review from one of my favorite (and toughest) critics out there, sums up my thoughts quite nicely.
Posted: Thu, 28th Jul 2011, 9:18pm

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Staff Only

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Okey, I agree much more with that post.

The part about Harry never being any good is my biggest complaint with JKR as well, and even though Hermione is brilliant she is never portrayed as powerful. It's as if JKR believes power=evil which turns out to be the entire story of Dumbledore, Grindelwald and Riddle's lives. So yes; I think that JKR thinks raw power is evil, and that is ruins her action scenes. Avatar: The Last Airbender (the TV-series) is so much better than Harry Potter in that way, because the trio become more and more powerful in that (which is their goal) and they beat the bad guys more and more as the series goes on. The entire 3 season series is based around that Aang has to go from novice to being able to defeat the most powerful man in the world in a duel in 6 months. And they travel and train, and travel and train and Aang becomes more powerful and the showdown at the end is amazing. I remember when Dumbledore summoned Harry to private lessons in HBP the first time I read the book I was praying that JKR was going to have him teach Harry Advanced Dueling. No such luck. JKR isn't one for writing anything that could be filed under "Magic is Might" (hey, more proof she fins power repulsive).

As to our disagreement of the films I just want to say that Norwegians are shy. They don't talk during movies, they don't clap or whistle. However they did clap and cheer at the end of the following films: Lord of the Rings (all three), Star Trek 2009, Inception and Transformers. And in Star Trek they gave a standing ovation in the middle of the film when the Enterprise was revealed. What do those films have in common? They are big, loud and they get your blood pumping with in-your-face "Holy S*it-moments". Deathly Hallows was not and had no such moments (except arguably Snape's death). There was no clapping in my theater, no one reacted to anything and I heard no crying. There wasn't even a lone gasp when Fred was dead. The movie didn't engage anyone properly, and that is why I'm so harsh.